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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  February 14, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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>> couric: good evening, everyone. it's a tradition in washington, the annual battle over the budget. but this year it promises to be tougher and more bitter than ever after republicans took back the house with the help of the tea party on a promise they'd make deep cuts in spending and reduce the deficit. today president obama rolled out a budget that calls for spending more than $3.7 trillion it would reduce the deficit to $1.1 trillion bringing it down from this year's record high of $1.6 trillion. but the president is making some assumptions that may not hold, including economic growth of 3.6%. chip reid is at if white house tonight. and, chip, does this budget have any chance of passing? >> reporter: not a chance, the president has spent a lot of time talking about working with republicans to try to reduce the deficit, but today the budget he put out has republicans seeing red. at a school outside baltimore
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today, president obama said his budget is full of tough choices. >> it will mean cutting things that i care deeply about. >> reporter: for example, cuts of $300 million from urban development grants, $2.5 billion from heating assistance for low- income families and $400 billion over the next ten years from a freeze on many domestic programs. but the president unveiled his budget at a technology school to highlight new investments, especially in education and innovation, including funding for 100,000 new math and science teachers, $32 billion for biomedical innovation and a doubling of funding for green energy research. the president would help pay for that by increasing taxes on oil, gas, and coal companies. and while students and the working poor would get tax breaks, many high-income families would see their taxes go up. >> you really cannot borrow and spend and tax your way to prosperity. but unfortunately that's exactly what this budget does. >> reporter: the white house
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defends its budget noting that the trend line for deficits is down from a record $1.56 trillion in 2011 to $607 billion in 2015 but it then heads back up to $774 billion in 2021. over the decade, the president's budget would add another $7.2 trillion to the national debt. budget experts say it fails to even touch the biggest budget- busters of all. >> when you look at medicare, medicaid, social security and interest on the debt, they dominate the budget. and little if anything was done to really address those head on. >> reporter: now, making cuts in those big entitlement programs is so politically treacherous it would take a political miracle to get it done before the elections in 2012. katie? >> couric: chip reid. thank you, chip. meanwhile, republicans are still fighting over this year's budget. fighting sharyl attkisson reports, among themselves. >> reporter: republican leaders are being forced to fight the budget battle on two fronts-- against democrats who want to
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cut less and tea partiers who want to cut more. in the house, 87 freshmen republicans got elected only after pledging to slash the budget by $100 billion. so it didn't go over big last week when republican leader john boehner proposed just $74 billion in cuts. fiscal conservatives took him to the wood shed. >> we just had a very active debate. >> reporter: under pressure in what passes for lightning speed on capitol hill, republican leadership carved bigger savings doubling cuts to the e.p.a. totaling $3 billion, adding $5.7 billion in new cuts to pell education grants. and making deeper cuts in foreign aid, more than $11 billion, all to come up with a magical number of $100 billion. republicans are also taking their first crack at using the budget to undercut health care reform. they don't plan to give the i.r.s. what it needs to enforce certain health care requirements.
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the chairman of the joint chiefs declared the soaring debt the biggest threat to national security. today, secretary of state hillary clinton said the republican cuts are just as bad. >> the truth is that cuts of that level will be detrimental to america's national security. >> reporter: in one twist on the theme, defense secretary gates said everyone ought to agree on one thing, cutting out what he calls a redundant second engine for the f-35 jets. >> my hope is that the new members who are interested in fiscal responsibility will see this is this as an opportunity to save $3 billion. >> reporter: it's not that easy. for five years presidents have removed the engine from the budget but congress stuffs it back in. supporters claim it's a money saver in the long run. it doesn't hurt that the engine's makers lobby congress
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hard and have spread lot of jobs to congressional districts. katie? >> couric: sharyl attkisson on capitol hill tonight. sharyl, thank you. turning overseas, egypt's rev solution inspiring opposition movements throughout the middle east. there were anti-government protests today in iran and yemen and in bahrain protestors demanding more freedom called it "a day of rage." police used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse crowds in the capital. at least one person was killed and the anti-government protests in iran today were among the most violent since the disputed 2009 election. as mark phillips reports, at least one person was killed there as well. >> reporter: with iran under a media lockdown, the only glimpse of the unrest came via cell phone video. it shows the crowds were big, they were angry, and they were emboldened by events in egypt and it shows the regime intent on putting them down. at one point, protestors start to deface a poster of iran's supreme leader ayatollah hamanahi when a government
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supporter steps in, the mob turns on him. but eyewitnesses stay vast bulk of the violence came from police and the military. >> reporter: this is the first time opponents of the regime have moved back on to the streets since a brutal government crackdown two years ago. and it comes just three days after iranian president ahmadinejad praised the protestors in egypt for, he said following iran's revolutionary lead. >> what we see happening in iran today is a testament to the courage of the iranian people and an indictment of the hypocrisy of the iranian regime. >> reporter: once again, the fires of anger are burning in iran. mark phillips, cbs news, london.
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>> couric: as for egypt, the new military rulers are moving quickly to shore up the fort. over the weekend, they promised free elections within six months and today a referendum on constitutional amendments within two months. they also called on egyptians to get back to work. harry smith is in cairo tonight, harry, the protests continue even though the atmosphere is a lot less tense. >> reporter: it's very interesting, katie, good evening back here in tahrir square even still this evening there were still people out celebrating, celebrating a mubarak-free agent and by and large as we traveled around the city today the mood here seems to be pretty good. but the new order of the day is airing grievances. even the cops got in the act today. egypt's feared police squads marched in protest demanding better pay and health benefits. simultaneously proclaiming their misdeeds were not their fault. the regime made them do it. at many a business, there were flash strikes and demands that the bosses-- the corporate
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officers of corruption-- be fired. "we've been putting forth these demands for years" this man says "but it just went in one ear and out the other." how goes the revolution? well, it depends where you are. here along the nile river on the corps nearby, people are enjoying a lovely afternoon. down the street, not so much. things haven't been going so well at state t.v. the director of mubarak's media mouthpiece was unceremoniously removed from his office yesterday. we went down to pay a visit. the station is surrounded by tanks, soldiers, and concertina wire. a small group was there to protest and no sooner had we started taking picture than we were ordered to stop. >> stop taking photo! >> reporter: after much discussion and flashing of press cards we concluded the army doesn't want its picture taken.
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the army may be the exception to the rule. katie, most of the people we encountered are still reveling in the revolution. >> couric: meanwhile, harry, i know the pro-democracy movement is taking nothing for granted and those behind it are planning to keep the pressure on. >> reporter: to that end, it's going to be another gigantic demonstration come friday. the pro-democracy folks say they want to remind egypt in this country and the army in particular that what happened here the last few weeks was no fluke. also we want to report tonight katie that those democracy demonstrators met with the army and they told us for first time the army seemed to be listening, they weren't being paternalistic. and, oh, by the way, the demonstration friday is going to be repeated next friday and next friday and the next friday for the foreseeable future. >> couric: harry smith in cairo tonight, harry, thanks so much. egypt's military leaders have pledged to honor the peace treaty with israel, but there are no guarantees of future
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egyptian governments to do the same. that has israelis uneasy as dean reynolds reports from jerusalem. >> reporter: the shouts from a democratic egypt have been met with a nervous silence from israel which hadn't praised the protests that toppled its friend hosni mubarak. here's why. >> reporter: from the outset of the demonstrations against mubarak, officials from israel urged the united states to side with him. so much so that washington reportedly told them to "chill out." almost to the last minute israeli commentators felt mubarak would withstand the protests led by prime minister benjamin netanyahu, israelis had many reasons to want him to. under his regime, egypt's peace treaty with israel has held for three decades. he's been a positive force for peace with the palestinians. mubarak's egypt joined the
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israelis in undercutting the palestinian fundamentalists of hamas by blockading the gaza strip and it allows the israelis to concentrate their militaries in the north against hezbollah in lebanon and the syrians next door. for now, the egyptian military rulers say they'll honor the camp david accords but egypt's influential muslim brotherhood never supported them and a leading secular poll station, ayman nour... and protests against government in neighboring jordan which also has a peace treaty with israel plus new elections called for in the west bank and you can see why the many people believe the less said the better. >> shut up. the best thing we can do we should have to for the next several weeks. >> reporter: today another rocket landed in israel and it was a reminder that whatever may be dawn in egypt there are some things in this region that never
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change. cbs news, jerusalem. >> couric: still ahead on the "cbs evening news," on this day of xs and os, she meets her ex and, oh, wait until you see, steve hartman's "assignment america." but up next, pacemakers and ventilators. are some medical devices put on the market too quickly? to my grandkids, i'm nana. i'm friend, secret-keeper and playmate. do you think i'd let osteoporosis slow me down? so i asked my doctor about reclast because i heard it's the only once-a-year iv osteoporosis treatment. he told me all about it and i said that's the one for nana. he said reclast can help restrengthen my bones to help make them resistant to fracture for twelve months. and reclast is approved to help protect from fracture in many places: hip, spine, even other bones.
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>> couric: the f.d.a. approves new medical devices in the hopes of saving lives but in 2006 some devices were linked to more than 2,800 death and close to 120 120,000 injuries. today the "archives of internal medicine" asked the f.d.a. to improve the way devices are tested before they reach the public. here's dr. jon lapook. >> reporter: it was surreal. i mean, the alarms sound like a french police car. >> reporter: the alarm was coming from her chest, from a defibrillator designed to prevent cardiac arrest. when laurie lawes and her daughter melissa both had them implanted, they never imagined the devices might be defective. >> scary to know that i had one the exact same model. >> reporter: their defibrillator was withdrawn from the market in 2007 after 13 deaths were linked to wiring problems. the f.d.a. approved this device using some of its strictest
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criteria but did not require testing in humans. the device was then implanted in 268,000 people. >> devices used for life- sustained indications should undergo rigorous testing before approval. that's clearly not happening. >> reporter: easier f.d.a. approval programs were meant for low-risk devices like tongue depressors and minor changes to existing devices. but a study out today found even the f.d.a.'s easiest criteria have often been used to clear high-risk devices. of 113 recalled from 2005 to 2009, 71% were cleared by the f.d.a. without requiring clinical trials. other recalled devices included intravenous pumps, glucose meters and breathing machines. >> on the one hand you want to make devices that are as safe as possible but on the other hand you want patients to have access to the latest technology as soon as they can. >> reporter: an industry trade group strongly disagrees with today's study
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>> the process enables the f.d.a. to imply the regulatory requirements consistent with the risks. >> reporter: laurie lawes had her broken defibrillator replaced. melissa's didn't malfunction but she had her's replaced, too. >> if you're going to put something in somebody you really need to make sure it's safe. >> reporter: the f.d.a. is currently reviewing this entire process. katie? >> couric: that sounds like an excellent idea. jon lapook. jon, thanks so much. one more bit of medical news about arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords continuing her miraculous recovery from that assassination attempt. doctors and friends say she can walk while holding on to a card and have simple conversations. as part of her speech therapy, she's mouthing lyrics to songs like "twinkle, twinkle, little star" and "happy birthday." twinkle, little star" and "happy birthday." copd makes it hard to breathe
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powerful cold medicine with a heart. >> reporter: conservative activist andrew breitbart vowed today fight a lawsuit by shirley sherrod, the woman fired by the agriculture department in july over a video he posted online. the video appeared to show sherrod saying she once refused to fight a white farmer but it had been taken out of context about a speech about racial unity. she was one of the most familiar faces on television.
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betty garrett died on television. he first big break came opposite frank sinatra in "on the town." in t.v. she was request laverne & shirley's "landly di" but she's probably best known as neighbor irene lorenzo on "all in the family." >> hi, irene! >> hello, archie. >> yeah, yeah, yeah. >> i guess that means "who needs her around on my day off?" betty garrett was 91. coming up next, young love and an old flame. steve hartman's "assignment america." hartman's "assignment america." [ sneezes ] client's here. whoa! that achy cold needs alka-seltzer plus! it rushes multiple cold fighters, plus a powerful pain reliever, wherever you need it! [ both ] ♪ oh what a relief it is!
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and see terms and conditions at chantix.com. i see you're flatulent in three languages. graduated top of your gas. [ male announcer ] got gas on your mind? your son rip is on line toot. [ male announcer ] try gas-x. powerful relief from pressure and bloating in a fast-acting chewable. gas-x. pressure's off. property. how homeowners can fight back. next on cbs 5 have your wedding on the web.... >> couric: finally this valentine's day, a thought from the poet john green leaf whittier. "for all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: it might have been." steve hartman now with the story of love that might have been in tonight's "assignment america." >> get your valentine, you can start. >> reporter: in classrooms across america today, kids were pouring their little hearts out. >> you are so fun and awesome to hang out with.
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>> reporter: trying to think of just the right words. >> "your character to me is perfect. you're like a beautiful flower. your friend james." that's it. >> reporter: that's it? that's amazing. >> i know. >> reporter: it feels good to give a note like that. but feels even better to get one. >> it makes you, like, feel nice inside. like warm. >> i would treasure it and keep it. >> reporter: for how long? >> forever. >> reporter: whether you saved your first love note or, like me saved all of them, chances are you've got at least a few stashed somewhere. the question is why? why break up with someone but keep their mail? and if you do save old love letters, what are you supposed to do with them once you get married? i posed that question to steve lewis, a houston investment advisor. steve says he and his wife allison triarsi are about as happily married as they come-- which is why for him the answer was easy. >> i remember actually shredding... >> reporter: you shredded them?
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>> yes. >> reporter: why? >> i said "i don't need this" and move on. >> reporter: his wife, however... >> i think i could find a few. >> reporter: ...that's a different story. allison is a reporter and anchor at the cbs affiliate in houston and when she told me she had old love letters, i was very curious to see if she saved any one from this one old boyfriend in particular-- a guy she dated almost 15 years ago and hasn't seen since-- until now. >> i like how you wrote the sentences. the key to my heart, how can you throw that away? >> reporter: how can she? how can i? >> so you have ones from her? >> reporter: you want to see them? >> please! >> reporter: i've got a couple dozen. some really silly, some really heart felt. "i love you." >> right. i think you should shred. ( laughter) >> reporter: that's one man's opinion. here's another... >> i think it's really important to save the past and to save love letters. >> reporter: bill shapiro put
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together a book called "other people's love letters." >> i don't know how you could possibly get rid of these. love letters are these totally biased time capsule where people remember you the way you want to be remembered. >> how could i not save something where somebody thought i was all of these things. there are times when i know i'm not these things. >> but when do you look at it? am i in new york on a business trip and do you think "this would be a good time." >> reporter: he made good points but i asked why he thought i should get rid of those letters. >> honestly, i kind of like you now so i don't care. ( laughter) >> reporter: what a great sport second only to my wife an andrea who has no problem with my collection but she got angry when i came home and accidentally called her allison. >> couric: but she now has the key to your heart, right, steve? >> reporter: she does. >> couric: that's the "cbs evening news," i'll see you tomorrow. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs
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captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org captioned by media access gro cities fight to save their stations - we open the books on caltrain. the complicated system that keeps the trains running, and why the money has simply run a bay area city's fight to save their stations, we open the books on caltrain. the complicated system that keeps the trains running and why the money has simply run out. and closing the book on what was once a power house retail chain. why it's the end for borders. >> we're seeing a trend with homeowners and home buyers who get these low appraisals of them really getting asserted. >> think your home is under valued. what you can do if the appraisal numbers strike you as unfairly low. good evening i'm dana king. >> i'm allen martin. now passengers are fighting to keep the trains rolling through
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their stations. mark sair is in santa clara with the trains that are on the chopping lock. >> hearings get under way today -- the morgan hill caltrain station, the signs tell the story. service at this station and five others south of san jose could be discontinued entirely under a caltrain proposal to close a $30 million budget gap. >> it was extremely important to our residents who ride the train. >> reporter: major steve tate says the potential loss would be damaging to his community even though at last count only about 105 people a day board the train here. the city is doing everything it can to try to save the service. >> even we can only save one train a day, you know in each direction or something like that in the interim while we look for the long term solution, but don't cut it out totally, gosh, please. don't cut it out totally. keep the light you know sort of lit so we ca

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